A/H1N1 flu activity easing in Canada
The A/H1N1 flu is waning in Canada, with fewer hospital admissions and fewer reported cases in schools, health officials said Wednesday, Xinhua reported.
But it is still too early to say the virus has passed its peak in Canada, Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer, told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday.
He estimated that one-third of Canadians are immune to the flu either because they have been vaccinated or they were infected with the virus.
He said the A/H1N1 flu is obviously hitting younger people harder than seasonal flu does.
As of Nov. 21, the median age for hospitalization with A/H1N1 in Canada is 26, compared with 71 for seasonal flu in 2007-2008. The median age for intensive-care admission is 45, 23 years younger than the median age of 68 seen in the 2007 flu season. Among those who died, the median age for the pandemic virus is 54, compared with a median age of 82 from that earlier flu season.
Children under five have the highest rate of admission to intensive care with this flu, followed by adults 45 to 64, Butler- Jones said.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said at the end of this week, vaccine enough for 60 percent of the population will be delivered to provinces and 75 percent by Christmas.
Canada's order of 50.4 million doses of the vaccine is enough for all citizens, she said, adding the country is going to consider donating to developing countries once they know how many Canadians are taking the vaccine.